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By Jody Goez
Do you remember saddle shoes and poodle skirts? How about jukeboxes and cars with fins? Sting Ray Anthony does–although in the 1950s, he wasn’t even a gleam in his father’s eye yet. But for Trinidad-born, Canada-raised Anthony, it was love at first listen. His mother, as it happens, was a bit more modern than his father who favored the standard-bearers of the previous era, such as Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. She was into rock and roll.
“When I was around eight or nine, my mom turned me onto the rock and roll stuff,” Anthony said. He then proceeded to buy and listen to every Elvis Presley recording he could. Anthony turned his love of music into a passion for playing. He began playing rock and roll music around town and was doing quite well. Then, the movie La Bamba came out. It was a biopic of the late young California musician who was hitting the charts in the early 1960s with songs that touched a generation, Ritchie Valens. The movie starred Lou Diamond Phillips and changed the course of Anthony’s career.
“I was already out there playing and when the movie came out, people started saying, ‘hey, you look like the guy from La Bamba!’” Anthony said.
With his uncanny resemblance to Lou Diamond Phillips, Anthony literally brings Valens’ music and more back to life. There are cover artists. There are tribute artists. There are even look-alike impersonators. But if you want to see the real thing, there is Sting Ray Anthony and his Jukebox Rocks show. For those who long to relive the 50s and 60s music of their own youth, and those who are discovering it for the first time, Anthony presents a legendary line-up of songs of the era.
“I’ve been very fortunate to help keep Ritchie’s memory alive and play all kinds of rock and roll,” Anthony said. He has been able to meet and work with several performers of the era and help introduce them to a new generation of fans.
“I’ve gotten to play on the biggest stages and befriend my heroes. Just last week I met James Burton (famously known for working with Elvis). I’ve met and played with and befriended just about everyone who played with Elvis and in that era, including Chubby Checker, Bill Medley, Peter Noone, Frankie Avalon, and even Valens’ sister, Connie,” Anthony said.
Along with the vocals of all-girl do-wop band, Shake Rattle & Roll, it promises to be a fun-filled night of rock and roll music. Multi-award-winning international 50s and 60s tribute show group Shake Rattle & Roll will make you stop, drop and roll with laughter as they take you back to a time of innocence with their comedy and hula hooping skills. They will bring back old memories and sing your favorite songs of the past with their beautiful harmony and choreographed moves.
Special guest Colin Dexter will also perform his incredible tribute to Roy Orbison.